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Ahead of tonight’s first Senate debate between Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Ted Cruz, we offer three key immigration questions that should be addressed by the candidates, as well as resources for reading up on the most timely immigration-related topics in Texas.
Key Questions for Sen. Ted Cruz
1. SHOULD DREAMERS HAVE ACCESS TO CITIZENSHIP?
Currently, approximately 200,000 young Texans benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Texas has a long bipartisan history of supporting these young people, often referred to as Dreamers. A February 2018 poll found 79 percent of respondents in Texas “said undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children – the so-called Dreamers – should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship” Trump has tried to end that program, and Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit that could immediately end DACA, which would strip those young people of work permits. What do you think should be done about these young people, many who are now studying or working and contributing to Texas?
2. DO YOU SUPPORT THE DETENTION OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SEEKING ASYLUM?
According to the New York Times, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded. Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer. Do you support the administration’s decision to expand child detention centers. And if so, what do you believe are the legal justification for such actions?
3. DO YOU SUPPORT BUILDING A WALL ALONG THE TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER?
Out of all of the major cities in the United States, El Paso consistently ranks as one of the safest. However, many politicians portray our border communities as full of crime, drugs, and violence and are calling for a wall to be built on the Texas side of the border. Do you support building the border wall?
On the border wall, 53 percent of Texas voters opposed the idea, while 43 percent supported the idea.
And about 79 percent of Texas voters said “undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children – the so-called Dreamers – should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship. Just 15 percent oppose them staying and eventually applying for citizenship.”
On the issue of Dreamers, 71 percent of Texans, including 55 percent of Republicans, supported citizenship for the young people who have been in the country for most of their lives, and who have studied or worked in the U.S.
On the border wall, similar to February, 51 percent opposed it, while 45 percent were in favor of it.
And on family separation, 72 percent of respondents believed that tearing children from their parents who are fleeing violence, was bad policy.